Online gambling operators need server solutions that work consistently, and most importantly when business picks up. That was a focus of the panel Karl Davies-Barrett, Global Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft Azure, sat on during the SiGMA Asia Digital conference, and our Stephanie Towers spoke with him after the event to gain more insight.
Davies-Barrett was happy with the way the conference went, and happily summed up some of the conversation for us. “It was a great discussion on a technical level, and it was nice to drill into the details of the challenges that gaming is facing,” he said. “You know whether they’re coming from compliance or just offering good customer service, it was all about data and was all about the throughputs, how to have a reliable platform, and it was just interesting to understand good architecture. It’s one thing to have good tools, but it’s how you use those tools. And the third takeaway was the openness that’s required, this portability of your solutions to go from on-premises, to cloud, and back again.”
Microsoft has increasingly embraced the gambling sector, and Towers asked what Davies-Barrett has learned from our side of the fence. “So we have a lot of opportunity here, because you know, we do have not just cloud solutions for infrastructure, but for data provisioning,” he said. “We have open interfaces for our databases, such as Cosmos DB, where customers can come load up their data, then they can interrogate it with machine learning models which they train using Python. I think the key takeaway here is the openness of our platform. it’s an open source. cloud solution platform, and so that’s not kind of creating a vendor lock-in and it creates comfort. And the second area is the global scalability that Microsoft provides, you know we have over 54 data centres across the world, so an operator can literally pick and choose where do they want to deploy their solutions.”
The challenges the gambling industry faces with their server solutions are pretty clear, but finding the right solution can be evasive. Davies-Barrett offered some advice. “So they very often start with how do you provision for peak loads, I mean you don’t want to go down when your best loads are coming in,” he began. “The way the loads vary is very difficult for them as well, like you know they would have sportsbooks loads which are very spiky, and then they might have player wallets which are pretty constant, and they’ve got these two kind of loads that they’re working with. Cloud comes in very nicely because you know you can spike those loads to the cloud and burst them up. So really plays nicely into one of them.”
But paying for the type of service that can handle those peak loads must be expensive, right? “We have a lot of support for the gaming operators, in terms of reserved instances, paying upfront, giving them discounts, so yeah think we’re really applicable,” Davies-Barrett shared.
Thankfully, Davies-Barrett noted that Microsoft isn’t just offering a one size fits all solution, but is willing to really work with their partners. “They have a lot of choice, I think this is most important with any cloud providers that the cloud provider says, listen, it’s on your terms as a partner or as a customer.” Davies Barrett emphasized that customers have the choice of handing off as much or as little control as they want. “A lot of gaming operators, because of compliance, want to run things on premises, they want to run it in their basement so to speak, and we can offer them a private cloud there as well.”
Watch the whole interview to see more insights from Davies-Barrett, including the best approach to testing your server solutions. And subscribe to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel to catch all of our interviews as they go up.